• 4 minutes Is $60/Bbl WTI still considered a break even for Shale Oil
  • 7 minutes Oil Price Editorial: Beware Of Saudi Oil Tanker Sabotage Stories
  • 11 minutes Mueller Report Brings Into Focus Obama's Attempted Coup Against Trump
  • 15 minutes Wonders of Shale- Gas,bringing investments and jobs to the US
  • 32 mins Apartheid Is Still There: Post-apartheid South Africa Is World’s Most Unequal Country
  • 1 hour Evil Awakens: Fascist Symbols And Rhetoric On Rise In Italian EU Vote
  • 2 hours Total nonsense in climate debate
  • 21 hours IMO 2020 could create fierce competition for scarce water resources
  • 7 hours IRAN makes threats, rattles sabre . . . . U.S. makes threats, rattles sabre . . . . IRAQ steps up and plays the mediator. THIS ALLOWS BOTH SIDES TO "SAVE FACE". Then serious negotiations start.
  • 1 day IMO2020 To scrub or not to scrub
  • 11 hours Theresa May to Step Down
  • 1 day Devastating Sanctions: Iran and Venezuela hurting
  • 3 hours Will Canada drop Liberals, vote in Conservatives?
  • 1 day Magic of Shale: EXPORTS!! Crude Exporters Navigate Gulf Coast Terminal Constraints
  • 1 day Level-Headed Analysis of the Future of U.S. Shale Oil Industry
  • 3 hours Trump needs to educate US companies and citizens on Chinese Communist Party and People's Liberation Army. This is real ECONOMIC WARFARE. To understand Chinese warfare read General Sun Tzu's "Art of War" . . . written 500 B.C.
  • 3 hours Canada's Uncivil Oil War : 78% of Voters Cite *Energy* as the Top Issue
Alt Text

No, The Oil Glut Hasn’t Disappeared

Weaker than expected oil demand…

Alt Text

Oil Stabilizes Ahead Of Weekly Inventory Data

Oil prices held steady on…

Alt Text

The Single Most Bullish Indicator For Oil

Crude futures saw some headwinds…

Irina Slav

Irina Slav

Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.

More Info

Trending Discussions

The Clock Is Ticking: How Much Oil Will Iran Lose?

Those energy analysts who are not yet bored to death with the whole Iran business must be having a field day making forecast after forecast about how many barrels the country will lose following next Monday’s snap-back of U.S. sanctions. There is a lot of space for speculation and guesswork, and even those who are wary of making shocking forecasts don’t have a lot of facts to work with. Yet it’s been six months since President Trump announced the sanctions, and since then a lot of data has accumulated—and is still coming in—suggesting that the initial shocking forecasts of losses of between 1.5 and 2 million bpd in Iranian exports were slightly exaggerated.

Data compiled by ClipperData and reported by the Energy Information Administration, for one thing, suggests that Iran exported a little less than 2 million bpd in September. That’s the same month when there was a flurry of media reports about sharp drops in Iranian exports based on conventional tanker tracking, suggesting that Iran had lost as much as 1 million bpd in outbound shipments. As the ClipperData figures—and regular updates based on satellite imaging from TankerTrackers.com—show this is not the actual case.

While Japanese and South Korean refiners said publicly that they have stopped all Iranian oil purchases ahead of the sanctions—in hopes of securing a waiver from the U.S. Department of Treasury—China and India continued guzzling Iranian crude in substantial amounts. China bought about 440,000 bpd of Iranian crude in September, ClipperData estimated, with India importing 576,000 bpd. That’s down from the average for the first half of the year but not dramatically: the H1 average for China was 644,000 bpd and for India it was 554,000 bpd.

Just yesterday, TankerTrackers.com reported almost all Iranian oil tankers in the Persian Gulf have now switched off their geolocation devices and were moving around “back and forth between ports to create confusion.”

This basically means the market would have to wait for at least a couple of weeks after November 5 to get any relatively reliable data about how Iranian exports are faring amid the sanctions. Even so, some analysts are once again predicting losses of 1-1.5 million bpd.

Iran, meanwhile, is preparing. Earlier this week media reported that President Rouhani had replaced the economic team of the government and that four cargoes of crude were sold on the Iranian energy exchange. The amount is not a great one at less than 300,000 bpd, but it could be the start of something regular. Related: OPEC's Radical Strategy Change After The Midterms

The idea for the exchange is to have private local entities buy the crude and then resell it to foreign traders. Analysts accurately point out that this would still put the foreign entities on the hook for penalties from Washington, as doing business with Iranian entities would constitute a breach of the sanctions. Yet smugglers would hardly care about Iranian sanctions, so there is a good chance that illegal entities would make use of this option.

At the same time, Washington is looking into waivers, according to a State Department spokeswoman who spoke to S&P Global Platts this week. "Our goal remains to get to zero oil imports from Iran as quickly as possible. We are prepared to work with countries that are reducing their imports on a case-by-case basis."

Although the two parts of this statement are kind of mutually exclusive, chances are even the most hawkish hawks in the Trump administration have realized that they do not have complete control over who buys Iranian crude, and there is such a thing as a black market that Iran must be familiar with given its past sanction experience.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:




Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage

Trending Discussions


Leave a comment
  • JONATHAN on November 01 2018 said:
    If tankertrackers can track these ships without a beacon the US military very likely has even better intel like who resides on the ship and which vessels are decoys.
    It appears POTUS could actually start dropping the military hammer at the Mexico border and who knows where else regarding oil. Funny thing is he has a good chance of raising prices yet again with more rash price raising decisions.
    So you decide if he really means what he says about low prices because actions have not met words once this year regarding oil politics.

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News